Be Mindful of the Next Life

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Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Ya Ali Madad, Yawm-e Ali Mubarak! On the occasion of the birthday commemoration of our first Holy Imam, Amir al-mu’minin, NOOR Mowlana Murtaza Ali (alayhi salaam) , we would like to extend heartfelt felicitations to the global Jamat.

On this day, may Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, the 49th direct lineal descendant of the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.), grant peace, prosperity, happiness, barakat, higher spiritual enlightenment, spiritual & luminous tayid (help) and empowerment to the global Jamat as we go through this difficult period. Ameen.

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants).

Teachings of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.)

In the past, I have explored two versions of Nahjul-Balagha and have posted excerpts from sermons. commandments and sayings of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.). In this enlightenment post, I have re-examined the sayings of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) and have come up with these gems.

Be Mindful of the Next Life

The first saying is the presented in the above graphic. One of the key teachings of our first Holy Imam is to be mindful of the next life or the life hereafter while we are physically alive on this earth. Currently, all of us are engaged in voluminous material activity which pushes us to do more in less time. This is one model of living. There is an alternate model in which the next life, the spiritual life of the soul, is given a greater importance. The volume of our daily activities may remain the same, but mindful attention is given to the nurturing and growing the soul on a continual basis. For example, reciting the tasbi of Ya Allah, Ya Ali, ya Muhammad periodically during the 24 hour cycle. This process shifts the focus to the next life and generates actions which empower the soul. This automatically generates contentment in even difficult circumstances and puts one in a state of gratitude. Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam introduced the concept of balance of din and duniya in his Mumbai Farman and has reminded us to be mindful of our soul and the life hereafter. One can see that this teaching of Noor Mowlana Hazar Iman is rooted in the above saying of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.).

The Two Veils Between God and His Servant

We are going the COVID-19 crisis and have experienced the immense loss of life, wealth and health, peace of mind and are in a period of unprecedented change. However, this is also a time of deep reflection of the purpose of our life. Here is Rumi’s perspective on health and wealth:

Between God and His servant are just two veils; all other veils become manifest from these two: health and wealth. He who is healthy says, “Where is God? I don’t know and I don’t see.” As soon as he begins to suffer, he says, “O God! Oh God!”. So you see that health was his veil, and God was hidden under his pain. So long as man has riches, he gathers together all means of achieving his desires. Night and day he busies himself with them. But as soon as he loses his wealth, his ego weakens and he turns round about God. (F 233/240)

Chittick, W.C. 1983. The Sufi Path of Love – The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi. pp.238-9.

The Sufi Concept of the Heart

The concept of the ‘Heart’ is central to personal search for higher spiritual enlightenment. Chittick has described the heart as follows:

THE HEART: The ultimate center of man’s consciousness, his innermost reality, his “meaning” as known to God, is called the “heart” (dil, qalb). As for the lump of flesh within the breast, that is the shadow or outermost skin of the heart. Between this heart and that heart are infinite levels of consciousness and self-realization.

As man’s inmost reality, the heart is always with God. But only the Prophets and saints – who are called the “Possessors of the Heart” – have achieved God-consciousness, whereby they are truly and actually aware of God at the center of their being. Most men are veiled by innumerable levels of dross and darkness, so in practice the center of their consciousness or “heart” is their animal spirit or ego.

Chittick, W.C. 1983. The Sufi Path of Love – The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi. p.37

Wealth, Health and The Heart

Now let us bring a holistic relationship between wealth, health and the heart from an Alid perspective:

Amir al-mu’minin, peace be upon him said: Beware that destitution is a calamity, but worse than destitution is ailment of the body, while worse than bodily aliment is the disease of the heart. Beware that plenty of wealth is a blessing, but better than plenty of wealth is the health of the body, while still better than the health of the body is the chastity of the heart.

Saying 398, Nahjul-Balagha, Reza. 1996. Sixth U.S. edition. p.660.

According to the teachings of Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam, the Alid tradition is an intellectual tradition which requires ardent practice of faith and utmost purification of the heart (soul). This is the first time that I have encountered the above mentioned quotation of Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) where he has placed the purification of the heart (soul) above health and wealth. Thus, the absolute imperative of the Ismaili Tradition is to nurture and foster the spiritual growth and purification of the soul in addition to looking after wealth and health. In spiritual terms, each action has to be evaluated whether it would bring the salvation of the soul. This golden rule captures the essence of the above quotation.

Characteristics of a True Believer

Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) has described the characteristics of a true believer as follows:

Amir al-mu’minin, peace be upon him said: Blessed be he who humbles himself, whose livelihood is pure, whose heart is chaste, whose habits are virtuous, who spends his savings (in the name of Allah), who prevents his tongue from speaking nonsense, who keeps people safe from evil, who is pleased with the (Prophet’s) sunnah, and who is unconnected with innovation (in religion).

Saying 123, Nahjul-Balagha, Reza. 1996. Sixth U.S. edition. p.595.

Enlighten Your Grave (i.e., the Soul within Your Living Body)

The soul is created and given a physical form. Therefore, the living body is a grave for the soul. The great saints struggled day and night to purify their souls and project them from their bodies into the higher world. In verse 167 of of Kalâmê Mowlâ, Noor Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) explains this concept:

Roshan kar bhâi kabar têri,
kê neet uth namâz kar beech rêan andhêree
andhêree rêan beech namaz kiasê,
roshan howê sahee kaber têree

Enlighten your grave (i.e., the soul within your living body), brother,
wake up always and perform luminous prayers in the middle of the night.
In the night, having performed your luminous prayer,
your grave will truly be enlightened.

namâz nafal kâr âdhee râtku(n),
khudâkê been na bujê koye
Mowlâ farmâve kê kaber têri,
ees namâzsê sahee roshan hoye …..167

Perform your prayers (namaz, Dua) and luminous prayer (bandagi) in the middle of the night
in such a manner that nobody else besides God knows.
Mowlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) says that your grave (i.e., the soul within your living body),
will be truly enlightened by such luminous prayer. …..167

Angelic Salwat Supplication

Let us now start supplicating with angelic salwat, Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants) to our beloved NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam for mushkil aasan for material and spiritual upliftment.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad

Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!

Ardent Prayers

May our beloved NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam, through the knowledge and barakat of the Holy Qur'an, Holy Ginans & Qasidas, Ayatul Kursi and Angelic Salwat, grant the global Jamat luminous (noorani) and spiritual (ruhani) tayid (help) to advance materially, spiritually and intellectually. May Mowla bestow Sunshine in our hearts, light in our foreheads, and the inner vision of the Truth in our intellects. Ameen.

May Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam fill our spiritual hearts with his NOOR and nothing else, and empower us to overcome fear, anxiety and uncertainty as we pass through this calamity! Ameen.

May the Almighty Creator help the whole humanity because we are all created from a Single Soul! Ameen.

Rakh Mowla je Noor te Yaqeen (Certainly, we trust in Mowla's Light only)

Haizinda — Qayampaya
(Our Present Imam is Living and His NOOR is Eternal)